Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hodgson, Timothy L. Parris, Benjamin A. Benattayallah, Abdelmalek and Summers, Ian R. 2015. Multi-modal representation of effector modality in frontal cortex during rule switching. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 9,

    Hodgson, Timothy L Sumner, Petroc Molyva, Dimitra Sheridan, Ray and Kennard, Christopher 2013. Learning and switching between stimulus-saccade associations in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologia, Vol. 51, Issue. 7, p. 1350.


Abnormal negative feedback processing in first episode schizophrenia: evidence from an oculomotor rule switching task

  • V. C. Huddy (a1), T. L. Hodgson (a2), M. A. Ron (a3), T. R. E. Barnes (a4) and E. M. Joyce (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 07 January 2011

Previous studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired on executive tasks, where positive and negative feedbacks are used to update task rules or switch attention. However, research to date using saccadic tasks has not revealed clear deficits in task switching in these patients. The present study used an oculomotor ‘rule switching’ task to investigate the use of negative feedback when switching between task rules in people with schizophrenia.


A total of 50 patients with first episode schizophrenia and 25 healthy controls performed a task in which the association between a centrally presented visual cue and the direction of a saccade could change from trial to trial. Rule changes were heralded by an unexpected negative feedback, indicating that the cue-response mapping had reversed.


Schizophrenia patients were found to make increased errors following a rule switch, but these were almost entirely the result of executing saccades away from the location at which the negative feedback had been presented on the preceding trial. This impairment in negative feedback processing was independent of IQ.


The results not only confirm the existence of a basic deficit in stimulus–response rule switching in schizophrenia, but also suggest that this arises from aberrant processing of response outcomes, resulting in a failure to appropriately update rules. The findings are discussed in the context of neurological and pharmacological abnormalities in the conditions that may disrupt prediction error signalling in schizophrenia.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: V. C. Huddy, Ph.D., D.Clin.Psy., Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychology, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A Abi-Dargham , J Rodenhiser , D Printz , Y Zea-Ponce , R Gil , LS Kegeles , R Weiss , B Cooper , JJ Mann , RL Van Heertum , JM Gorman , M Laruelle (2000). Increased baseline occupancy of D-2 receptors by dopamine in schizophrenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97, 81048109.

NE Anden , SG Butcher , H Corrodi , K Fuxe , U Ungerstedt (1970). Receptor activity and turnover of dopamine and noradrenaline after neuroleptics. European Journal of Pharmacology 11, 303314.

AR Aron , PC Fletcher , ET Bullmore , BJ Sahakian , TW Robbins (2003). Stop-signal inhibition disrupted by damage to right inferior frontal gyrus in humans. Nature Neuroscience 6, 115116.

AR Aron , TW Robbins , RA Poldrack (2004). Inhibition and the right inferior frontal cortex. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, 170177.

CS Carter , DM Barch , RW Buchanan , E Bullmore , JH Krystal , J Cohen , M Geyer , M Green , KH Nuechterlein , T Robbins , S Silverstein , EF Smith , M Strauss , T Wykes , R Heinssen (2008). Identifying cognitive mechanisms targeted for treatment development in schizophrenia: an overview of the first meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia Initiative. Biological Psychiatry 64, 410.

KF Berman , JL Ostrem , C Randolph , J Gold , TE Goldberg , R Coppola , RE Carson , P Herscovitch , DR Weinberger (1995). Physiological activation of a cortical network during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test – a positron emission tomography study. Neuropsychologia 33, 10271046.

CR Blyler , JM Gold , VN Iannone , RW Buchanan (2000). Short form of the ‘WAIS-III for use with patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 46, 209215.

PR Corlett , GK Murray , GD Honey , MRF Aitken , DR Shanks , TW Robbins , ET Bullmore , A Dickinson , PC Fletcher (2007). Disrupted prediction-error signal in psychosis: evidence for an associative account of delusions. Brain 130, 23872400.

I Creese , DR Burt , SH Snyder (1976). Dopamine receptor-binding predicts clinical and pharmacological potencies of anti-schizophrenic drugs. Science 192, 481483.

D Dickinson , PD Harvey (2009). Systemic hypotheses for generalized cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: a new take on an old problem. Schizophrenia Bulletin 35, 403414.

C Franke , B Reuter , L Schulz , N Kathmann (2007). Schizophrenia patients show impaired response switching in saccade tasks. Biological Psychology 76, 9199.

J Fukushima , K Fukushima , T Chiba , S Tanaka , I Yamashita , M Kato (1988). Disturbances of voluntary control of saccadic eye movements in schizophrenic patients. Biological Psychiatry 23, 670677.

JM Gold , JA Waltz , KJ Prentice , SE Morris , EA Heerey (2008). Reward processing in schizophrenia: a deficit in the representation of value. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34, 835847.

TE Goldberg , DR Weinberger (1994). Schizophrenia, training paradigms, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Redux. Schizophrenia Research 11, 291296.

DA Grant , EA Berg (1948). A behavioral analysis of degree of reinforcement and ease of shifting to new responses in a Weigl-type card-sorting problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology 38, 404411.

C Greenzang , DS Manoach , DC Goff , JJS Barton (2007). Task-switching in schizophrenia: active switching costs and passive carry-over effects in an antisaccade paradigm. Experimental Brain Research 181, 493502.

D Guitton , HA Buchtel , RM Douglas (1985). Frontal-lobe lesions in man cause difficulties in suppressing reflexive glances and in generating goal-directed saccades. Experimental Brain Research 58, 455472.

PE Hallett , BD Adams (1980). The predictability of saccadic latency in a novel voluntary oculomotor task. Vision Research 20, 329339.

EA Heerey , BM Robinson , RP McMahon , JM Gold (2007). Delay discounting in schizophrenia. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 12, 213221.

T Hodgson , M Chamberlain , B Parris , M James , N Gutowski , M Husain , C Kennard (2007). The role of the ventrolateral frontal cortex in inhibitory oculomotor control. Brain 130, 15251537.

TL Hodgson , C Golding , D Molyva , CR Rosenthal , C Kennard (2004). Eye movements during task switching: reflexive, symbolic, and affective contributions to response selection. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 16, 318330.

TL Hodgson , D Mort , MM Chamberlain , SB Hutton , KS O'Neill , C Kennard (2002). Orbitofrontal cortex mediates inhibition of return. Neuropsychologia 40, 18911901.

VC Huddy , AR Aron , M Harrison , TRE Barnes , TW Robbins , EM Joyce (2009). Impaired conscious and preserved unconscious inhibitory processing in recent onset schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine 39, 907916.

VC Huddy , TL Hodgson , M Kapasi , SH Mutsatsa , I Harrison , TRE Barnes , EM Joyce (2007). Gaze strategies during planning in first-episode psychosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 116, 589598.

AR Hunt , RM Klein (2002). Eliminating the cost of task set reconfiguration. Memory & Cognition 30, 529539.

AR Hunt , B Olk , A von Muhlenen , A Kingstone (2004). Integration of competing saccade programs. Cognitive Brain Research 19, 206208.

M Husain , A Parton , TL Hodgson , D Mort , G Rees (2003). Self-control during response conflict by human supplementary eye field. Nature Neuroscience 6, 117118.

SB Hutton , U Ettinger (2006). The antisaccade task as a research tool in psychopathology: a critical review. Psychophysiology 43, 302313.

SB Hutton , BK Puri , L-J Duncan , TW Robbins , TRE Barnes , EM Joyce (1998). Executive function in first-episode schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine 28, 463473.

A Jablensky , N Sartorius , G Ernberg , M Anker , A Korten , JE Cooper , R Day , A Bertelsen (1992). Schizophrenia: manifestations, incidence and course in different cultures. A World Health Organization ten country study. Psychological Medicine (Mongraph Supplement) 20, 197.

A Kaladjian , R Jeanningros , JM Azorin , S Grimault , JL Anton , P Mazzola-Pomietto (2007). Blunted activation in right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during motor response inhibition in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 97, 184193.

S Kapur (2003). Psychosis as a state of aberrant salience: a framework linking biology, phenomenology, and pharmacology in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry 160, 1323.

C Li , S Park (2004). Do schizophrenia patients make more perseverative than non-perseverative errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test? A meta-analytic study. Psychiatry Research 129, 179190.

DS Manoach , KA Lindgren , MV Cherkasova , DC Goff , EF Halpern , J Intriligator , JJ Barton (2002). Schizophrenic subjects show deficient inhibition but intact task switching on saccadic tasks. Biological Psychiatry 51, II.

N Meiran , J Levine , N Meiran , A Henik (2000). Task set switching in schizophrenia. Neuropsychology 14, 471482.

S Monsell (2003). Task switching. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7, 134140.

GK Murray , F Cheng , L Clark , JH Barnett , AD Blackwell , PC Fletcher , TW Robbins , ET Bullmore , PB Jones (2008). Reinforcement and reversal learning in first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34, 848855.

HE Nelson (1976). Modified card sorting rest sensitive to frontal lobe defects. Cortex 12, 313324.

AC Nobre , JT Coull , CD Frith , MM Mesulam (1999). Orbitofrontal cortex is activated during breaches of expectation in tasks of visual attention. Nature Neuroscience 2, 1112.

AM Owen , JJ Downes , BJ Sahakian , CE Polkey , TW Robbins (1990). Planning and spatial working memory following frontal-lobe lesions in man. Neuropsychologia 28, 10211034.

C Pantelis , TRE Barnes , HE Nelson , S Tanner , L Weatherley , AM Owen , TW Robbins (1997). Fronto-striatal cognitive deficits in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Brain 120, 18231843.

A Parton , P Nachev , TL Hodgson , D Mort , D Thomas , R Ordidge , P Morgan , S Jackson , G Rees , M Husain (2007). Role of the human supplementary eye field in the control of saccadic eye movements. Neuropsychologia 45, 9971008.

FE Polli , JJS Barton , M Vangel , DC Goff , L Iguchi , DS Manoach (2006). Schizophrenia patients show intact immediate error-related performance adjustments on an antisaccade task. Schizophrenia Research 82, 191201.

MI Posner , RD Rafal , LS Choate , J Vaughan (1985). Inhibition of return: neural basis and function. Cognitive Neuropsychology 2, 211238.

KJ Prentice , JM Gold , RW Buchanan (2008). The Wisconsin Card Sorting impairment in schizophrenia is evident in the first four trials. Schizophrenia Research 106, 8187.

B Reuter , M Jager , R Bottlender , N Kathmann (2007). Impaired action control in schizophrenia: the role of volitional saccade initiation. Neuropsychologia 45, 18401848.

B Reuter , N Kathmann (2004). Using saccade tasks as a tool to analyze executive dysfunctions in schizophrenia. Acta Psychologica 115, 255269.

W Schultz , A Dickinson (2000). Neuronal coding of prediction errors. Annual Review of Neuroscience 23, 473500.

P Seeman , M Chau-Wong , J Tedesco , K Wong (1976). Dopamine receptors in human and calf brains, using [3H]apomorphine and an antipsychotic drug. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 73, 43544358.

R Swainson , RD Rogers , BJ Sahakian , BA Summers , CE Polkey , TW Robbins (2000). Probabilistic learning and reversal deficits in patients with Parkinson's disease or frontal or temporal lobe lesions: possible adverse effects of dopaminergic medication. Neuropsychologia 38, 596612.

YK Takahashi , MR Roesch , TA Stalnaker , RZ Haney , DJ Calu , AR Taylor , KA Burke , G Schoenbaum (2009). The orbitofrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area are necessary for learning from unexpected outcomes. Neuron 62, 269280.

P Waelti , A Dickinson , W Schultz (2001). Dopamine responses comply with basic assumptions of formal learning theory. Nature 412, 4348.

R Walker , M Husain , TL Hodgson , J Harrison , C Kennard (1998). Saccadic eye movement and working memory deficits following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia 36, 11411159.

JA Waltz , JM Gold (2007). Probabilistic reversal learning impairments in schizophrenia: Further evidence of orbitofrontal dysfunction. Schizophrenia Research 93, 296303.

DR Weinberger , KF Berman , RF Zec (1986). Physiological dysfunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. 1. Regional cerebral blood-flow evidence. Archives of General Psychiatry 43, 114124.

KA Woodberry , AJ Giuliano , LJ Seidman (2008). Premorbid IQ in schizophrenia: a meta-analytic review. American Journal of Psychiatry 165, 579587.

T Wykes , C Reeder , S Landau , B Everitt , M Knapp , A Patel , R Romeo (2007). Cognitive remediation therapy in schizophrenia: randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry 190, 421427.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *